3 Day Colorado hiking/climbing adventure – Advanced level hikers/scramblers only

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NOTE THIS HIKING TRIP IS BEING POSTED SO THAT ANYONE INTERESTED WILL BE WAITLISTED UNTIL COORDINATING WITH ME PRIVATELY. I AM SEEKING INTEREST AT THIS TIME AS WELL AS SEEKING OUT PARTNERS FROM SUMMITPOST AND OTHER SITES.

THIS IS ADVANCED LEVEL WITH 30+ MILES AND 14,000’+ ELEVATION GAIN IN THREE DAYS. HIKING TO CLASS 3 SCRAMBLING.

See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/968919243497447/

This is a tremendously beautiful hiking trip in the San Juan Range in Colorado. We will start on July 1 and meet in Durango where we will have a hotel room booked.

Hiking Day 1: Molas Pass at Colorado Trail Segment 25 Trailhead at Little Molas Lake. Spencer peak, Grand Turk, Sultan Mountain, Turkshead Peak.

This is a gorgeous high-altitude mountain area with terraced rocks along the mountainside. A mix of green meadows and grey rocks and patches of snow awaits. Trails meander to the first three summits, with a short, easy trek to the final, lowest summit.
Little Molas Lake is located 40 miles north of Durango along Highway 550. A dirt road a mile off of 550 leads up to the trailhead which is over 10,900’. From there a trail heads towards a group of summits and hits a ridge leading up to Spencer Peak, then Grand Turk, and then Sultan Mountain. This is all Southeast facing, so snow isn’t an issue.

All told, the hike is 8 ½ miles long, with an elevation gain of 4,400’ if you go to all four summits.

Potential alternative if snow levels remain high:

If we still face a lot of snow, we will spend two days in the La Plata Range 20 miles west of Durango.

We would probably stay at the Target Tree Campground off of Highway 160 about 20 miles west of Durango: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sanjuan/recarea/?recid=43254. It is first come, first serve. It isn’t the most well-traveled area, so I don’t expect an issue.

There are also three campgrounds nearby, where we would actually intend to hike, which is past Mayday up the 124 Road. That hike would be into the La Plata Range. There is a 10+ mile loop hike involving four summits between 11,800’ and 12,300’: https://listsofjohn.com/PeakStats/gpx.php?id=1794

That is essentially a ridge hike, involving a few summit bumps, with forest roads winding up and down from the ridge.

On Day 3, we would stay in the La Plata Range, but drive further down to about 10,700’ and hit 12k summits along the Colorado Trail: https://listsofjohn.com/PeakStats/gpx.php?id=4140

If snow conditions permit:
Wednesday July 3rd. Hiking Day 2 Hike: Sundog 13,432’, Redcloud 14,034’ and Sunshine Peak 14,006’ - 4,500’ of gain and 9+ miles.

This hike starts from the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead at 10,400’ where we will car camp. It is eight miles on a good dirt road to reach the trailhead from pavement past the Lake outside Lake City, Colorado.

The ideal way to do this hike is a loop, which involves the three summits starting with Sundog, and then descending Redcloud.

If snow conditions permit:
Thursday July 4th. Hiking Day 3 Hike: We will remain at Grizzly Gulch Trailhead, and we’ll hike Handies Peak 14,053’ and Whitecross Mountain 13,542’. That is 8.5 miles round trip and about 4,400’ of elevation gain.

Original plan below, but unlikely due to snow:
Uncompahgre 14,309’, Noncompahgre 13,158’, and Nellie Point 13,106’